A subpoena was served to Toms River Township pertaining to the municipality’s business with Birdsall Services Group, a Monmouth County-based engineering and consulting firm with an office in Eatontown, that has been under investigation by the state.
The subpoena was issued by the State Grand Jury sitting in Trenton and was served on multiple municipalities that transact business with Birdsall Engineering.
In Toms River, Birdsall was contracted for two projects, said Township Administrator Paul Shives — the repair of town hall central air and installation of solar panels on the parking garage, plus an air quality analysis project at the indoor ice rink.
Shives said the township is in the process of gathering all its documents for the grand jury. Materials from January 2008 onward were requested.
"It requires the production of documents including engineering proposals, contracts, letters, email communication, invoices, and copies of payments to Birdsall Engineering and/or any of the subsidiary companies for the period of time from January of 2008 to the present."
He said the township only contracted with Birdsall twice in that period.
"It appears that during that time frame the Township had only two projects with Birdsall – our Parking Garage/Solar Energy/HVAC project and an air quality analysis at the Winding River Ice rink," Shives said.
All municipalities were given two weeks to accumulate and submit the documentation, "and we are in the process of gathering all of the information," said the township administrator.
Lacey Township received the subpoena during the afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The subpoena asks for any and all records relating to Birdsall Engineering, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.
“It doesn’t concern me because I know from my dealings with Birdsall, anytime we approved a contract with them, we’ve scrutinized them pretty closely,” Mayor Mark Dykoff said.
On Wednesday, May 3, state investigators executed a search warrant at the offices of Birdsall Services Group. The exact reason for the investigation is currently unknown.
According to an NJ.com story, Birdsall did more than $28 million in business with towns, counties, the state and other public agencies throughout New Jersey in 2011. The company also donated $129,700 to dozens of Democrats and Republicans last year.
“What happened in other towns, I can’t say. “We’ve always followed a fair and open process when we award a contract,” Dykoff said. “They’re just checking back on transactions and contracts that we had with Birdsall for a period of time.”
Currently, the only business the township is doing with Birdsall is a to be built in Lacey upon Oyster Creek’s closure in 2019, Dykoff said.
The subpoena orders the requested documents for a state grand jury in Trenton at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Toms River Regional Business Administrator Bill Doering said the school district was not subpoenad.
Other municipalities served subpoenas for their work with Birdsall include Seaside Heights and Brick. The Ocean County government also received the same order.